Annual report shows ‘significant’ drop in crime in Grosse Pointe Park last year

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 29, 2021


GROSSE POINTE PARK — Even criminals apparently spent more time at home in 2020 than in other years.

While delivering the results of the 2020 annual crime report to the Grosse Pointe Park City Council during a March 8 meeting by Zoom, interim Public Safety Director James A. Bostock said crime numbers fell overall by 128 incidents, which was a 32% drop from 2019.

“Presumably due to the pandemic, the numbers of both index and non-index crimes fell significantly,” Bostock said.

Index crimes are considered more serious offenses, while non-index crimes are less serious offenses. The Park had 136 index crimes in 2020, compared to 179 in 2019 and 177 in 2018. The Park reported 138 non-index crimes in 2020, compared to 200 non-index crimes in 2019 and 149 in 2018.

“The year 2020 had been one like no other in recent memory,” Bostock said. “The year brought a number of challenges, among them political discord, social unrest and COVID-19. Through it all, members of the department continued to uphold the high standards of service and professionalism that has become the standard for the Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Department.”

Larcenies, weapons offenses, vehicle thefts and malicious destruction of property were down by nearly 20% over 2019 figures, Bostock said. However, the department fielded more reports of assaults, drug offenses, fraud, identity theft and drunken drivers.

The most common index crime, larceny, fell from 138 incidents in 2019 to 98 in 2020. There were no armed or unarmed robberies reported in 2020, whereas there were two of each of these offenses in 2019. Vehicle theft fell from 14 incidents in 2019 to 12 in 2020, while burglary/home invasion dropped slightly, as well, from 13 in 2019 to 12 in 2020. The biggest jump among index crimes was in the category of aggravated assault, which doubled from four in 2019 to eight in 2020.

“This is probably the most favorable annual public safety report I’ve had the privilege to read,” Mayor Robert Denner said.

He said it demonstrated that the Park has good public safety training and an effective department.

City Councilman James Robson, himself a retired police officer, agreed.

“This is the most impressive and encouraging public safety report I’ve seen in my 28 years on council,” Robson said. “One reason I ran for City Council a million years ago is, there were 80 to 90 home invasions a year (in the Park). … We have a well-trained department.”

City Councilwoman Darci McConnell was impressed with the statistics, as well.

“Every year, our crime goes down,” City Councilman Vikas Relan said. “You guys are obviously very well versed in knowing what to do.”

Relan asked if the city kept data on the racial makeup of those pulled over during traffic stops.

“No, we don’t track by sex and race,” Bostock said.

Officials said residents played an important role in keeping the community safe.

“A large part of the success of the Public Safety Department is our residents,” Denner said. “It’s our residents being the eyes and ears of our public safety effort. … We’d rather (have public safety) respond to a call of a minor concern than (let it become) something major.”

2020 saw the retirement of officer Chris Jones in April after 25 years and the hiring in August of a new officer, Nathan Jacobini, a veteran of the United States Navy and U.S. Coast Guard.